Year 4 MEAM approach evaluation

October 13, 2021

Latest evaluation shows impact of MEAM Approach

Cordis Bright has published its latest findings from the independent evaluation of the MEAM Approach network.

The five-year evaluation began in 2017 and assesses the impact of the MEAM Approach on people experiencing multiple disadvantage, local services and systems. A research group made up of experts by experience is working alongside Cordis Bright to deliver the evaluation.

The 4th year of the evaluation covers 33 MEAM Approach areas and includes data from 785 people (40% of the 1,944 people supported to date).  It is accompanied by a technical appendix and a thematic ‘deep dive’ report on the involvement of statutory mental health partners in MEAM Approach partnerships.

The main report has eight key findings, including the following key highlights:

Impact on individuals

  • There are significant improvements in accommodation outcomes, including an 82% reduction in rough sleeping (from 49% of individuals at the start of support to 9% after a year). This pattern continues in individuals’ second year of support.
  • People generally receive better access to and support from statutory mental health services when the services are involved in MEAM Approach partnerships. This is explored in detail in the thematic report.
  • Individuals being supported by MEAM Approach areas are making improvements to their wellbeing and circumstances. However, the data also suggests that people may face barriers in making progress towards higher levels of wellbeing over time.

Effective use of resources

  • There are statistically significant reductions in A&E attendance (a 33% reduction from an average 0.8 attendances to 0.5 attendances per person per quarter) and statistically significant reductions in emergency hospital admissions (a 49% reduction from an average 1.3 days to 0.7 days per person per quarter) over the first year of support. There was a slight increase in mental health admissions and prison attendance and a decrease in arrests, but these findings were not statistically significant.
  • The reductions in A&E attendance and days in hospital are associated with reductions in cost for these services. However, the positive changes in people’s accommodation are associated with cost increases.

Impact on systems

  • There is evidence that local areas are making wide-ranging changes to local systems, but that there is more work to do. The report categorises examples of these system changes across six key themes to support further examination next year. The themes include leadership; approaches to coordinating support; infrastructure, pathways and processes; strategy and commissioning; co-production; and culture.

The findings from the Year 4 evaluation provide important information about the impact of the MEAM Approach network to date.  We are now working with Cordis Bright and the expert by experience research group to plan the delivery of the final ‘Year 5’ report.


Year Four final reporttechnical appendix and the mental health thematic report